Google January 2020 Core Update

14th January 2020 was just an ordinary day for most of us as we went about with our regular work, but not so for Google.

On the 13th Google tweeted about releasing a broad core algorithm update called January 2020 Core Update.

Google's Tweet 2020 core update

Google explained their Algorithm updates in the best possible way as referenced below.

“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.”

Google Webmaster Central Blog

An Algorithm changes tracking tool Cognitive SEO also was able to track the fluctuations on keywords ranking changes.

cognitiveSEO Alert

Our Client’s keywords ranking change after the 2020 core Algorithm update

We were able to notice massive improvements on our clients keyword rankings after the algorithm update. We have always deployed the best practice when it comes to providing SEO services to our valuable clients.

#1 Keywords Ranking

Some chatter about the Algorithm update from the SEO community

Two hours After the update went live, we began dropping for dozens of keywords one after the other. The effects from our end/datacenters were visible quite fast. We are also losing rich snippets stars for every phrase, after years of having them being visible in the SERPs. We are religiously dropping for everything across the board, including for fresh and expert written content. But I guess if a site has issues that would drag it down, it’s a site wide effect during an update. We’re definitely experiencing that right now. I guess we didn’t do enough work to improve our site and user experience. If I’m being honest and objective with respect to our site, in theory, I can see why it’s dropping. Unpleasant but it’s the reality. Need to work harder.

For us, it’s been horrible since the second week of November. I don’t ever recall Google’s traffic being this bad. The quantity is there, but the quality went right down the toilet. Let’s hope what is apparently rolling out now will dramatically improve traffic quality. Here’s what I’m looking at for this month:

Users: +9.8%
Revenue: -40.6%
Conversion Rate: -38.2%

Almost a 10% increase in traffic and conversions fall off the cliff? Really?Keep in mind this is on top of what turned out to be a terrible November and December. Google’s traffic has gotten really, really bad. And just when you think the quality of traffic coming from Google can’t get any worse, it does!

Have you been affected by the recent algorithm update? Has your website seen significant changes in the keywords rankings, drop in organic traffic, not many inquiries etc. Get in touch me and I’m happy to analyse your website along with you in identifying and fixing the issue.

Earnings at risk – Google Adsense

Did you get a red alert on your Google Adsense account which says “Earnings at risk – One or more of your ads.txt files doesn’t contain your AdSense publisher ID. Fix this now to avoid severe impact to your revenue.

As most of us in Sri Lanka also use AdSense on various interesting blogs and website’s it’s import to make sure the revenue is not impacted.

Adsense Issue

You’re having a “Publisher ID missing from ads.txt files” issue which is an easy fix.

All you need is to declare who is authorized to sell your inventory with ads.txt

Here’s how to fix it

Create your own ads.txt file for AdSense

Here’s how to create an ads.txt file to publicly declare that Google is authorized to sell your ad inventory:

  1. Create a text (.txt) file.
  2. Include the following line:
    google.com, pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
    Important: Make sure you replace pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with your own publisher ID.
  3. Host your ads.txt on your root domain (for example, https://farhanonline.com/ads.txt).

Here, “root domain” is defined as one level down from the public suffix list. For example, “srilanka.com” would be considered a root domain as “.com” is on the public suffix list but “seo.srilanka.com” would not be considered a root domain.

Developing Long Lasting SEO Takes Time

Good things come to those who wait

Patience is a virtue in search engine optimization. Placing paid sponsored ads in the Pay per Click (PPC) area via Google AdWords can achieve almost immediate results but SEO does not produce immediate results. You won’t get your return on investment a week after SEO starts. However the long term benefits of SEO often out weight the almost instantaneous results of PPC. This is one reason that the two often work well together in a campaign.

Optimizing your site for your targeted key phrases won’t get you to Page 1 overnight. You won’t find all your keywords rankings in the top 10 on Google in 19 days (despite some claims you read), nor will you get significant traffic improvement after an hour of SEO consultations. SEO is like boiling water: you don’t get a hard boil the moment you turn on the burner… you have to wait for it.

Boiling water on the burner

The process of optimizing a site can take months or even over a year, depending on how competitive your area of practice and your geographic target. SEO is an ongoing process with growing measures of return. The return in SEO is good, but you’ve got to be willing to invest the time to let it happen.

Developing a Proper Base Takes Time

Hours of research, developing the proper site architecture, and making the site user friendly must all be completed prior to the actual optimization of specific pages. Keyword research, research on your specific product or service and your specific targeted geography, competition research, and more, must be completed before any optimization can begin.

Every website has different construction, design, layout, history, and speaks differently. No two sites are the same; therefore no research is the same. Some elements of the research can be applied, but you can’t just take what works for someone else and apply it to your site. You don’t get ahead by cloning a competitor; you get ahead by outsmarting a competitor.

There Are No Magic Bullets in SEO

Many businesses have quality websites. To get the search engines to rank you higher than other businesses competing in your same product or services, it is important to do all the little things right. There is no one thing you can do that will send you to the top of the rankings. You must do a series of small things right over time. Overall website construction including “Site maps”, help both search engines and visitors quickly and easily get to the information that is important on your site.

Up against a similar site, these things can help you keep visitors engaged with your content and prevent them from jumping off to a competitor. It’s often the small things that can make the biggest difference. Providing unique content offers value to visitors, videos give people an understanding of you, your personality and FAQ that address real issues are some of the examples that separate you from the rest.

Even the design and navigation of the site play a major role. The easier it is for visitors to find their way around your site the easier it is for the search engines to crawl and index all your web pages.

Google Trusted German photographer Felix Steck in Sri Lanka

We are extremely delighted to welcome expert German photographer Felix Steck in Sri Lanka.

Felix Steck is to start covering hotels and resorts with his expertise and experience in photography.

While it is still a new trend with Google street view, the see inside feature of Google is very much likely to catch up soon in Sri Lanka.

There are few novice companies in Sri Lanka, who claim to be authorized partners of Google in Sri Lanka and have gone to the extent of even publishing on digital and print media. For the best of my knowledge, currently only few Google Trusted photographers are from Sri Lanka as per Google’s listing for Trusted Photographers. They are the pioneers in Google Street view and have been involved in Google related businesses such as Google local business since 2012. Many hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka are taking the advantage of Google see inside.

I hope Felix Steck and professionals of Sri Lanka if worked together could be a great strength and add more value to the local businesses in Sri Lanka.

Google Street view in Sri Lanka

The long awaited Google Street view for Sri Lanka is finally here. Google maps have been a very effective and useful tool for most Sri Lankan’s, like other developed countries we have been using the maps for various reasons from giving someone directions, finding the easiest route to a destination or checking the traffic of a particular road (Google recently added this feature which is available on android and ios).

As Google continues to make life easier, the Google see inside feature on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) is an ideal platform for business to showcase their property whether its a hotel, resort or showroom. The Google see inside enables you to virtually go inside a property such as a hotel or resort and have a 360 degree view of the property and navigate around. Now that we even have the Google Street view, the 360 virtual tour via the See inside link is very useful for hotels & resorts where potential guests get to see the rooms and views they would be getting when they visit. Invite customers in with indoor Street View of your business on Google Search and Google Maps.

Google See Inside 98 acres resort

The pioneers of introducing 360 virtual tours and Google see inside in Sri Lanka have been on the forefront by assisting many businesses to enhance their visibility on Google Maps. Despite few small companies comprising only a couple of people which pretend to be Google in Sri Lanka.